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Course: Expected Questions Geo-Mains Paper GS- 1 Presented by Ashna Sisodia
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Question 27: Critically analyse problems faced by farmers and consequences of these problems in the cotton growing belt of the Vidarbha region. (200 Words)
Answer: Vidarbha region of Maharashtra has become synonymous with "farmer suicides"; exhibiting the deteriorated agrarian situation of the region. Reasons for this agricultural distress are: 1. Unseasonal rains & hailstorms: have ruined cotton crop; the produce this year is almost half of harvest in 2014. 2. Lower MSP: MSP for cotton has been steadily decreased by Gol; reduced from Rs 5000 (last year) to Rs 4050 per quintal for 201415. 3. Inflation: has enhanced agro inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and pesticides over years.
4. Lack of irrigation facilities: has made farming rain dependent; vagaries of monsoons hamper farm output. 5. Global slowdown: has reduced cotton demand from international markets such as china & U.S; cotton prices have come down. 6. Lack of farm credit: famers have to depend on non-institutional sources; interest rates are exorbitant; mounting debts only adds to woes. 7. Lack of insurance: crop insurance is almost unknown to famers of the region,
.Consequences: Mounting distress on farming community takes toll; as can be seen from rising number of suicide cases among famers of the region. Solution lies not in announcing successive loan waiver scheme as announced by Gol but in ensuring better infrastructure in the region in form of irrigation & electricity; ensure timely farm credit to farming community; eliminate intermediaries in cotton by boosting SSIs in the region.
Question 28: Explain land use pattern in India and why has the land under forest not increased much since 1960-61? Also examine why majority of landholdings in India are small. (200 Words)
Answer: India has a varied land use pattern given the geographical diversity of the country. Land use pattern in India is as follows: availability of flat terrain in India. 2. About 22% area of the country is under forest cover. 3. Barren and uncultivable waste land amount to about 8.5%. 4. About 5.5% is under non-agricultural uses like houses, industries etc. 5. Rest of the area is under tree crops, grooves, permanent pastures and grazing lands etc. 70.
The land area under forest has increased only marginally from about 18% in 1960s to about 22% at present. This is because of increasing demands for non-forest uses like agriculture, industries etc Despite government efforts like taking up large scale afforestation programmes, deforestation for development projects like mining, hydropower etc. has not attributed to any large scale increase in forest over. There are also issues like lacunae in implementation of Forest laws, exclusion of tribal and village communities in conservation efforts have not helped
Over 80% of the landholdings in India are below 2 hectares. The reasons for such small landholdings are: 1. Continuous fragmentation of landholdings as a result of increasing population has led to current situation of uneconomical landholdings. 2. Overwhelming dependence of the country's workforce on agriculture 3. Absence of successful efforts for cooperative farming. 4. Historical reasons like land distribution and ceiling laws have also contributed to fragmented landholdings. 5. Sale of a part of their land when unable to pay their debts also lead to smaller landholdings